Aftershocks at Martha’s Vineyards

Some days start the same as any other.  Things just seem to flow smoothly, minor annoyances, but most of all, you feel at the end of the day as if you have accomplished all tasks. But then you have those days that start off from the beginning, when you just know it will be one of those you will have to fight “tooth and nail” no matter what comes! Today just seemed like one of those days.

     The day began with my thumbing through my usual “list of things” to do, everyone has one of those lists, and it keeps getting longer, every time you cross one item off to move to the next. And when you leave, you either forget it at the home, or begin to question yourself on why you thought you needed the list in the first place.

     As I did, I was thinking about my oldest daughter Jessica. Jessica is out in Florida without a care in the world. And here I am, constantly scanning the channels to look for the slightest increment, the tiniest turn of Hurricane Irene towards Florida, and I would be on the phone telling her she must come home. This is a life or death matter.

     I guess it is something about your child being out there; being in danger and you cannot reach them. I had watched the path of Hurricane Irene on every channel that tracked hurricanes all morning. That was up until approximately 2:50 P.M. That is when crisis #2 struck.

     Crisis #2 was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Virginia and surrounding areas. I then shifted gears. I had an aunt and uncle, cousins, all in Virginia. I had friends and colleagues in Washington DC and in New York. Needless to say I was immediately on the computer sending emails, scanning Facebook for updates to pages of loved ones to check for their safety. Moments later the 4.5M in intensity aftershock followed the first and yet, once again, the updates were being updated. I remember thinking I have a hurricane in the gulf; Now I have not one, but two earthquakes rattling my friends and family in other states. I was beginning to get a bit rattled myself.

     It was about that time that an alert came across the TV, and I thought, “Oh, no! Not again!” And it wasn’t! But the strangest thing caught my eye. There were reporters on air, criticizing the situation that President Obama had taken his family to Martha’s Vineyard in the earlier part of this week, and with the hurricane, and the earthquake, his only comment, was that his family had felt a minor tremor as well. Reporters were questioning what does that say about a President who takes a vacation, and when a hurricane reaches a Category 4 in the waters and an earthquake shakes the very ground underneath him, his family and his fellow Americans? What does that say?

     Well if you ask me? I’d say, human. He placed calls home and he sent a statement advising all concerned of him and his family’s welfare, just like me. He is the President! What more can he do? I think sometimes the media expects more out of him than they should. After all, he is just a man. Last week, he was a man leading his family on a vacation, and some quality downtime.

     This week he will return to the White House and he will make announcements to the public. More than likely he will advise Hurricane Irene will be making landfall, please take precautions. He will also tell us that two earthquakes struck Virginia, and surrounding areas. The only difference will be his geographical location. Maybe I should get one of those reporters to follow my daughter around. That way I don’t have to worry as much.

Published April 12, 2012, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Benc

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